WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6:30 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Dr. Fuchs
Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs

For many years Ester R. Fuchs’ office was right next to David Dinkins’ office at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Fuchs is Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science there.

Dr. Fuchs also worked in the Michael Bloomberg administration from 2001 to 2005.

The self-described Pragmatic Utopian spoke to WBGO News Director Doug Doyle via Zoom about her friendship and respect for New York's first and only black mayor.

Wikimedia Commons

The history of jazz in Greenwich Village is in danger of disappearing -- so many buildings important to jazz history have not gotten landmark status.

Dr. Lewis Porter
Bill May for WBGO News

Jazz historian, pianist and retired Rutgers-Newark Professor of Music Dr. Lewis Porter plans to spend more time on his own music these days.

On this month's edition of Newark Today, host Michael Hill is  joined by  Mayor Ras J. Baraka along with Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade.

They discuss the the latest COVID-19 restrictions in New Jersey's largest city. 

On The Rocks
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO News

You don’t have to go to the movies—or pull them up online—to get a sense of the generational discontent that drove the election this week. Our film critic, Harlan Jacobson, goes to the movies to read what’s been on the kid’s minds.


When New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy instituted new restrictions to mitigate a further spike in COVID-19, bars and restaurants in the state were just starting to get used to operating indoor dining again with seating at just  25% of the dining room’s capacity. Murphy has kept the capacity limit in place, but has prohibited dine-in service between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and has prohibited bar seating.


Some establishments will be less hampered by the new restrictions.


Jerry Izenberg
Zoom/Doug Doyle

Newark native and legendary sports writer Jerry Izenberg is already in 16 Halls of Fame but he had never written a novel, until now.  

In a Zoom chat from his Henderson, Nevada home, Izenberg spoke to SportsJam host Doug Doyle about his new novel After The Fire: Love and Hate in the Ashes of 1967 (Admission Press) and share some treasured stories about growing up in Newark, watching the Newark Bears play baseball at Ruppert Stadium and the day he surprised Don King during a dispute with the legendary boxing promoter.

New Jersey reported another 3,517 cases of coronavirus Thursday, for a cumulative total of 266,986 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Another 18 residents died from COVID-19. There have now been 14,694 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,801 probable deaths from the disease.

The state reported 1,827 hospitalizations as well as 360 people in intensive-care units, numbers not seen since early June.

There was a 12% positivity rate for coronavirus tests taken Sunday, and the state’s rate of transmission stood at 1.3.

Alexandra Hill / News


Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is sounding the alarm as cases in the city rise to levels not seen since the height of the pandemic back in April. Baraka is now defending his decision to implement even stricter COVID restrictions across New Jersey’s largest city.

Baraka says all non-essential businesses in Newark must now close at 8pm two hours earlier than the state’s 10pm shut down order. Baraka says he has received push back from business owners to elected officials but says for him its about saving lives.


On November's edition of Ask Governor Murphy,  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced a new statee initiative to provide assistance to small business owners who have been hurt by COVID-19.  

The Governor also gave his reaction to last Tuesday's Presidential Election and the vote-by-mail process in New Jersey.

Governor Murphy also took calls on the legalization of recreational marijuana and what are the next steps now that New Jersey voters approved the ballot question.

The show was hosted by WNYC's Nancy Solomon.

John R. Green

Emmy Award-winning ABC TV producer and writer John R. Green is a proud dad.  His 8-year old twins inspired him to create companion children's books that transform bedtime rituals into whimsical adventures.

Green's twins, A.J. and Francesca, had issues when it came to getting a good night sleep.  That prompted the New Jersey resident to develop Dream Grabber and Dream Jumper (Archway Publishing) based on his real-life experiences with his children.

Max Rose race

On election night, right after the polls closed New York State was called for Vice President Joe Biden, yet down ballot the state Republican Party celebrated a comeback of sorts, picking up seats in Congress and in the state legislature.

Biden garnered 3.7 million votes, some 56 percent of the votes cast, yet he only carried 13 of New York State’s 62 counties, running up his vote total in four of New York City’s four boroughs and upstate cities.

John Weingart
Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University

Not all the local congressional races were called on Election Night but all three ballot questions were approved by voters in New Jersey.  Voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey

To get a better perspective legalizing recreative marijuana as well as the local election results, WBGO’s Janice Kirkel spoke this week with John Weingart, Associate Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew will hold onto his seat in New Jersey’s southernmost congressional district after beating Democrat Amy Kennedy.

The Associated Press called the race for the now-Republican Van Drew on Friday, after the race remained too close to call for days despite ongoing ballot-counting.

New Jersey recorded another 2,104 cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing its cumulative total to 247,219 infections since the pandemic began.

Another 12 people died from COVID-19. There have now been 14,603 lab-confirmed deaths and another 1,800 probable fatalities in New Jersey.

The testing positivity rate was 7.74% for coronavirus tests administered on Nov. 1.

New restrictions ‘close’ as infections rise

Now that New Jersey voters told officials to legalize recreational marijuana – 2 to 1 – the next phase of bringing the “adult cannabis market” to the state begins.

Suffice to say, don’t light up just yet.


Office of Senator Cory Booker

Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker declared victory  Tuesday night in one of the first races called out of New Jersey. 

Booker easily defeated Rik Mehta, a business executive with a law degree and a doctorate in pharmacy, who staunchly supported President Donald Trump. 


 Booker, who won a special election in 2013 after the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg before winning his first full term in 2014, delivered brief remarks from his home in Newark during a virtual celebration held by the New Jersey State Democratic Committee.  

campaign photos

Democratic incumbent Andy Kim will be re-elected to a second term in Congress, representing a district that has been red for much of the last decade.


According to results as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Kim leads his Republican challenger David Richter by more than 10 percentage points. The Associated Press called the race in favor of Kim after midnight Wednesday.


When broken down by county, the results were split. Kim took the vote in Burlington County, while Richter claimed Ocean County.


The race for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District began in earnest about a year ago.

A few months before the coronavirus pandemic roiled the United States, House Democrats were preparing to impeach President Trump.

But first-term U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew was one of just two Democrats nationwide to break ranks and vote no.

“I think this splits the country apart further, and I think we want to try to heal the country, bring it together,” Van Drew said at the time.

Village Halloween Parade
Alan Esner

The Village Halloween parade has delighted New York locals and tourists for nearly 50 years.


WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor is expressing concerns about the ICE Detention Centers, especially when it comes to treatment of women.

Mildred Antenor is a professor and the author of The Gladioli Are Invisible:  A Memoir.

Click above to hear her thoughts on why she's closely watching Tuesday's election results.

Rutgers University
Mason School of the Arts

Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Art's Jazz program is headed by New York-based trombonist Conrad Herwig, who is one of the world's most complete jazz musicians, atop both the perorming and jazz education fields with an abundance of composer and arranger credits.

NJ Senate Race

Like many other political races this year, one of the main issues in the U.S. Senate contest in New Jersey is the candidates’ support for — or criticism of — President Donald Trump. That was on display Tuesday night during the first and only debate between Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and his Republican challenger Rik Mehta.

Mehta, a pharmacist, attorney, and former FDA official, slammed Booker for focusing too much on criticizing Trump and not enough on reaching bipartisan solutions.

City of Newark

The city of Newark is imposing new restrictions on businesses as COVID 19 cases continue to rise.

The positivity rate in the city’s east ward has now surpassed 25 percent with the city surging above 11 percent, prompting Mayor Ras Baraka to take action. Baraka says beginning Tuesday all non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. except grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Peter Alson
Zoom/Doug Doyle

The Only Way To Play It is Peter Alson's first novel, but the former professional poker player has been writing books for a long time and has contributed articles to Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Esquire, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone.

Alson has also launched his own publishing company Arbitrary Press which simultaneously reissued his first book, Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie, under a new title, The Vig.

Open Mic Night
Nuyorican Poets Cafe

October is Hispanic Heritage Month. Usually this is a month filled with celebrations that honor history, family and traditions. But this year is different. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the Latinx community.   

Building a Culture of Health in Newark Conference
Believe in a Healthy Newark

Believe in a Healthy Newark resumes its 4th Annual “Building a Culture of Health in Newark” Conference Monday, October 26.

The virtual conference engages nationally-recognized speakers to discuss the physical, social, emotional and economic impacts of COVID-19.

Eric Johnson

Earlier this month the Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) and the BIG EAST Conference announced a three-year agreement that will enable all 11 member schools to compete in a year-long multi-game season for the first time as official EGF Collegiate league members.  

On this edition on SportsJam,  EGF CEO Eric Johnson joins host Doug Doyle to talk about the growing popularity of Esports on campuses and how this latest agreement will impact students and schools in the area.

Steve Adubato
Steve Adubato

Stephen N. Adubato Sr. was an iconic Newark and New Jersey political power broker who created the North Ward Center, a non-profit community service organization during the turbulent 60's in the state's largest city. "Big Steve" also built the Robert Treat Academy Charter School. 

Tributes from politicans, community leaders, school officials and residents have been pouring in since Steve Adubato, Sr. passed away last Friday at the age of 87.  

campaign photos

  U.S. Rep. Andy Kim interrupted a red streak in 2018 when he defeated incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur.


The first-term Democrat said since being elected he has tried to be responsive to his Burlington and Ocean County constituents in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, an effort which has included hosting more than two dozen town halls.